Source: PA Images
DONALD Trump returned to fear tactics when he accused the left of trying to “destroy the American way of life” in a late re-election for voters in Michigan and Wisconsin on Saturday.
The two states of the Midwest were instrumental in the president’s victory in 2016, but could now get out of his grasp.
At successive rallies, Trump accused the left of “wanting to erase American history” and “clean up American values”.
He made an unfounded claim that Democratic rival Joe Biden was putting communities at risk.
Trump offered his dark message when faced with headwinds not only on national polls showing Biden is a leader, but also on major battlefield polls.
His comments come after his campaign, with far less money than Biden’s, which has largely withdrawn from television advertising in the Midwest and shifted much of its money to Sun Belt states like Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia, and Pennsylvania .
In trying to bolster his base and deter voters from turning against him, Trump tried to label the Democrats as “anti-American radicals” and said the moderates had “a moral duty” to join the Republican Party.
“The Democratic Party you once knew doesn’t exist,” he said.
Part of the crowd at Trump’s Wisconsin rally.
Source: Alex Brandon / AP
It was the same from issue to issue as he hyperbolically claimed that Biden’s election would trigger “the greatest depression in our country’s history” and “turn Michigan into a refugee camp.”
Trump addressed the coronavirus crisis, warning Biden to “close the country, delay the vaccine and extend the pandemic”. Public health experts say the nation would be in far better shape if Trump’s administration took more aggressive action early on.
And while repeatedly predicting victory, Trump seemed to struggle all day with the prospect of actually losing in November.
In Michigan, he quipped that he “better damn well be president” in January. In Wisconsin, he wondered how he would deal with a loss.
“Can you imagine if I lose? I will have lost to the worst candidate in the history of American politics, ”he said. “What am I doing?”
Trump has continued to hold rallies despite the threat of the coronavirus that took him to the hospital for a few days earlier this month.
Wisconsin broke the record for new positive virus cases on Friday – the third time in a week. The state also hit record highs in daily deaths and hospital admissions last week.
However, among the thousands of followers Mr Trump attracted in both states, there was little sign of concern with spectators standing close together in the cold, mostly without a mask.
President Donald Trump dances to the song YMCA after his rally in Wisconsin.
Source: Alex Brandon / AP
Trump continued to urge Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to lift restrictions in place to halt the spread of the virus and prompted the crowd to break into a chant of “lock her up”. The same chant broke out after mentioning his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and 2016 Representative from Minnesota Ilhan Omar.
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Whitmer, a Democrat, was the focus of kidnapping by anti-government extremists angry about lockdown measures. 13 men were charged in connection with the program that included plans to storm the state capitol and hold some sort of trial against the governor.
“You have to get your governor to open up your state and open up your schools. Schools have to be open, right? “Said Trump, who also recognized the role of law enforcement in preventing the conspiracy.
Whitmer’s digital director, Tori Saylor, urged the president to stop.
“Every time the president does this at a rally, the violent rhetoric against her immediately escalates on social media,” she tweeted. “It has to stop. It just has to be like that. ”
Biden hadn’t planned any public events for Saturday. In a memo to supporters, however, campaign manager Jen O’Malley warned Dillon not to get complacent.
“The reality is this race is much closer than some of the pundits we see on Twitter and on TV suggest,” she wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained from The Associated Press.
“If we’ve learned anything from 2016, we can’t underestimate Donald Trump or his ability to get back into the fray in the last few days of a campaign, no matter what trade-offs or underhanded tactics are at his disposal.”
Trump has an aggressive campaign plan in the coming days. Rallies are scheduled for Sunday in Nevada, Monday in Arizona, and Tuesday in Pennsylvania.
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